Fall 2020 Plan and Information
COVID-19 Updates and Information

Guidance & Steering/Working Groups

Updated Aug. 26, 2020

COVID Indicators

Frostburg State University’s response to the current novel coronavirus pandemic requires the ability to quickly absorb important research data and public health information, while using judgment under imperfect conditions to make decisions regarding the safety of students, faculty, and staff. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has operated by making decisions that have been informed by national, state, and local health conditions, as well as guidance from the Governor of Maryland and Chancellor of the University System of Maryland. Both the Pandemic Response Plan and the Recovery Response Plan have utilized phased-in levels as an operational guide.

FSU will monitor several key COVID-19 indicators that may impact the local and institutional environment. These indicators have been adapted from COVID-19 Planning Guide and Self-Assessment for Higher Education (OpenSmartEDU, 2020). Correspondingly, each key COVID-19 indicator will have trigger metrics that will inform our decision-making regarding our institutional recovery response level. These indicators include incidence and prevalence, positivity rate, case clustering from contact tracing, regional healthcare preparedness, testing capacity, health center capacity, quarantine/isolation capacity, adherence to public health protective factors, local conditions, and state conditions.

Frostburg State University’s Pandemic Response Team will continuously monitor the key COVID-19 indicators to discern patterns of concern that would potentially trigger the raising or lowering of our institutional recovery response levels. In most instances, triggers will be evaluated in coordination with our director of health services, local health officials, key institutional stakeholders, and the President. As there are 10 indicators, the Pandemic Response Team will consider positive or negative triggers of several key COVID-19 indicators that would prompt a recommendation to the President to raise or lower the institutional recovery response level, unless the scope or intensity of at least one of the indicators would overwhelmingly initiate a high-level concern. The President will communicate any modifications in response levels to the University with a specific implementation plan.

Pandemic Recovery Plan

As FSU began to see the possibility of COVID-19 becoming a pandemic, we relied upon our Pandemic Response Team to provide guidance, a role that continues as we move forward into the fall semester. At this point, we are being guided by the Pandemic Recovery Plan. There are three levels in the recovery plan:


Level 1: Classes remain online; essential housekeeping, maintenance, grounds keeping, and administrative staff return to work; small population of students on-campus; most operations continue to telework; preparations for reopening continue; social distancing, indoor face mask donning in the presence of others, hand washing, respiratory etiquette, and employee health monitoring are required.

Level 2: Telework continues, but staff incrementally return to work to complete essential functions with reduced footprint authorized by supervisors; preparations for reopening continue; faculty return when contract commences; students return to campus with limitations on size of gatherings and reduced density in residence halls; as semester begins, classes may meet face-to-face with some blended modalities and reduced capacity; social distancing, indoor face mask donning in the presence of others, hand washing, respiratory etiquette, and employee health monitoring are required.

Level 3: National, state, and local pandemic indicators trigger improved conditions; Governor’s office and USM provides return-to-normal guidance; vaccine becomes available; some public health measures may stay in place, while others are incrementally lifted; operations and classroom restrictions begin to return to normal; recovery levels transition to preparatory phase.


Updated June 25, 2020

As the University continues to prepare to reopen and welcome back our students, faculty, staff, and other community members, we want to share additional information regarding our work behind the scenes. The Moving Forward Fall 2020 Recovery Team was established to develop a road map that summarizes our plan for reopening that is informed by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions' Interim Guidance for Administrators of U.S. Institutions of Higher Education and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's COVID-19 Planning Guide and Self-Assessment for Higher Education.

Assigned work groups (see below) are researching topics and making plans for reopening regarding a number of specific areas of emphasis, including health services, blended academic courses, semester timelines, residential guidelines, athletics, etc. Each steering committee leader has been tasked with providing a report, with proposed plans and procedures that will mitigate health and safety risks to our campus community. They are also tasked with coordinating the implementation of the reopening plan, while focusing on action items, purchases, timeframes, etc.

Frostburg State, like many other academic institutions, is working tirelessly to thoroughly identify relevant situations and scenarios that may impact our campus community during this viral pandemic. As we continue to craft the necessary next steps, we will be as transparent as possible. Our goal going forward is to maintain frequent communication so that all students, faculty, and staff are informed of our plans for reopening. Although each group below is working on multiple action items — see the summation of plans/priorities from the designated work groups below:

Steering Committee

Reports to President and Senior Leadership Team
  • Jeffrey Graham
  • Sara-Beth Bittinger
  • Lisa Hersch
  • Brad Nixon (chair)

Working Groups (Team Leaders)

  • Academics (Sara-Beth Bittinger)
    • Academic Affairs has four subcommittees charged with reopening planning: 1) General Academic Affairs; 2) Facility and Academic Preparation Group, which includes subgroups to address specific needs (e.g., library, labs, studios, and ensembles); 3) Academic Policy; and 4) Technology, Training and Classroom Preparation (see below).
    • The General Academic Affairs group has made recommendations to the President regarding an early-start schedule and delivery modalities for fall 2020 and will continue to meet on an ad-hoc basis to further inform recommendations for instructional logistics.
    • The Facility and Academic Preparation Group has made recommendations on physical class size and room capacity (i.e., seat reductions), based on the blended course model with an alternating-attendance strategy. Additional guidance will be forthcoming from the Office of the Provost.
    • Building captains for academic spaces will be identified and meet with the Facilities Department to plan for appropriate signage and recommend safe foot-traffic routes.
  • ADA/EEO (Benjamin Brauer)
    • A COVID-19 Health and Safety Related Requests Team is being formed to review requests which would fall outside the bounds of normal ADA/504 requests. This team will address requests which would not be directly related to a disability of the applicant (student, staff or faculty member), but are COVID-19 related. It should be noted that standard ADA/504 requests, will not be reviewed by the team but will be processed using the existing policy and procedure.
  • Athletics (Troy Dell)
    • Athletics is continuing to develop a plan for the fall that aligns with State of Maryland, University System of Maryland, Frostburg State University, NCAA, and Mountain East Conference guidelines.
    • Information will be shared from the Director of Athletics through ARMS or through coaches to all student-athletes as soon as the university plan evolves.
    • Student-athletes should be preparing for the 2020-21 season to the highest degree their personal workout situation will allow.
    • One of the key components of our “Return to Play Plan” will be “Social Responsibility” and strict adherence to recommended guidelines. Student-athletes are strongly encouraged to practice social responsibility at the highest level and lead by example.
  • Communications (Liz Medcalf/Gregg Sekscienski)
    • Launch of plan details and website for Moving Forward: Fall 2020 (completed last week)
    • Ongoing planning of weekly website updates (Q&As, other areas) and email messaging (every Wednesday) through summer; review and release of any special communications from other areas to specific audiences
    • Coordination and creation of all institutional signage in place for Fall 2020
    • Creation and production of all specific publications and guides (PDF documents, fliers, handout cards, etc.) as identified by working groups as well as pandemic planning communication updates and coordination
    • External messaging and PR for Fall 2020 as well as social media campaigns to provide information
  • Community Issues (Jeffrey Graham)
    • The University and City Administrators have identified points of contact to communicate plans, address concerns, and coordinate responses.
    • The Dean of Students shall update the Code of Student Conduct to reflect the expectations for students to follow public health guidelines, including limits on social gatherings on and off campus, and disseminate this information through a number of mediums to students prior to their arrival on campus (in progress).
    • Establish contract with local hotel for quarantine purposes (nearly complete).
    • Communicate with property management owner/agents through the City of Frostburg’s Director of Community Development regarding recommended public health practices (on-going).
  • Financial Implications (Denise Murphy)
    • Establish emergency funding for COVID-19-related costs and preventative measures such as inventory – PPE, cleaning and sanitizing supplies, signage/barriers, equipment, training and education (in progress).
    • Expenses related to COVID-19 that are above and beyond normal business will be tracked; they include inventory, labor, training, medical supplies, repairs and maintenance, OT (in progress).
  • Guests on Campus (Allen Flanagan)
    • Visitor guidance is being developed and will be shared and enforced with all visitors on campus (in progress).
    • Reduce potential for contact exposure by reducing seating and reconfiguring physical areas, including entrances and exits of campus buildings (in progress).
    • Reduce risk of contact exposure and spread of COVID-19 by promoting proper use of PPE, physical distancing, staying safe, and healthy practices. Appropriate posters and directional floor signage will be posted in highly visible areas throughout campus buildings (in progress).
    • Provide hand sanitizing stations at key entrances to campus buildings (in progress).
  • Health (Kaitlyn Morral)
    • The Director of Brady Health Services shall coordinate all public health efforts with the Allegany County Health Department and maintain consistent contact, including the implementation of contact tracing (in progress).
    • The health center shall implement specific public health protocols for identifying, triaging, referring, and treating students, including call-ahead triage process to reduce potential contact exposure (in progress).
    • The health center will continue to offer tele-health options for students in appropriate situations to reduce potential of contact exposure (in progress).
    • The health center will coordinate COVID-19 testing protocols as recommended by the Maryland Department of Health, USM, and Allegany County Health Department. Individuals currently seeking testing are being referred to UPMC-Western Maryland per county protocol. Information from most public health sources, including the CDC, indicate it is not generally necessary to test individuals who are not experiencing symptoms (in progress).
    • Continue to inventory and procure adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for health center staff and patients (in progress).
  • Information Technology (Troy Donoway)
    • The Technology, Training and Classroom Preparation committee has developed and implemented the Hours to a Hybrid Course (H2H) professional development opportunity, which started the first session 6/22/20 with 57 participants.
    • The group will continue to coordinate additional professional development opportunities throughout the summer.
    • Office of Information Technology will continue to address classroom hardware issues (cameras) prior to the start of the fall semester.
    • Work/testing has begun to update code necessary to update the term dates in PAWS. Application of the date change process in the PAWS production environment is scheduled to start on July 9 at 12 AM and will continue until 2 PM on July 11. PAWS will be unavailable for the duration of the date change event.
  • Physical Campus (John Brewer)
    • Housekeeping staff will provide cleaning with approved COVID-19 disinfectant and will continue to use electrostatic sprayers and misting systems to combat COVID-19. High touch areas (I.e. restrooms, computers, computer spaces, classrooms will be cleaned frequently (in progress).
    • The Assistant Director of Facilities will continue to inventory and procure adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff (in progress).
    • Reduce potential for contact exposure by reducing seating and reconfiguring physical areas, including entrances and exits, in all campus buildings (in progress).
    • Reduce risk of contact exposure and spread of COVID-19 by promoting proper use of PPE, physical distancing, staying safe, and healthy practices. Appropriate posters and directional floor signage will be posted in highly visible areas in all campus buildings (identified).
    • Provide hand sanitizing stations and/or dispensers in high traffic areas in all campus buildings (in progress).
  • Residence Life (Kimberly Hinds-Brush)
    • The occupancy of the residence halls will be all single rooms to reduce population density and the potential for contact exposure.
    • Implement scheduled check-in dates and processes that reduce contact density and exposure by extending move-in day over a period of one week. Students will be able to sign-up for move days/times based on certain criteria and will be able to have one visitor assist with the move-in (in progress).
    • Residence hall lounges and kitchens will be closed to reduce contact exposure and laundry rooms will be limited to one or two students (depending on size) at a time to reduce density.
    • Guests will be restricted to one person at a time per resident to reduce building density (in progress).
    • All occupants will be required to wear face coverings when moving through any common area.
  • Safety (Marvin Parsons)
    • COVID-19 safety training to include proper PPE, handwashing hygiene, physical distancing, face coverings and symptoms following CDC guidance will be assigned to employees prior to return to campus (in progress).
    • Review facilities spaces in collaboration with Facilities, Provost’s Office, Registrar and make recommendations regarding strategies to maintain physical distancing and safety (in progress).
    • Assist Administration & Finance by recommending safety protocols and purchasing guidance for supplies based on committee expertise and external benchmarks (in progress).
  • Student Life (Rob Cooper)
    • Provide hand sanitizing stations at all entrances to the Lane University Center and at all Student Activities sponsored events (in progress).
    • Promote appropriate social distancing, donning of face coverings, and event capacity stipulations based on guidelines from the Governor for all Student and Community Involvement sponsored events (in progress).
    • Transform most traditional face-to-face interactions to virtual interactions through consultation on event planning (in progress).
    • Reduce potential for contact exposure by reducing seating and reconfiguring physical areas, including entrances and exits, within the Lane University Center (in progress).
    • Work with Chartwell’s Food Services to implement environmental engineering controls regarding the movement of constituents in the Lane University Center and Food Services areas (in progress).